The 9 Best Ikea Purchases You’ll Ever Make Are you a home owner?

You’ve gotta hand it to Ikea—the megaretailer that somehow manages to make you buy so much STUFF. Granted, many people make purchases here they regret, due to the indecipherable assembly instructions or the rickety results—or perhaps just the distinctly Swedish oddness of some items. As such, Ikea is one of those big-box stores folks love to hate—that is, until they find the perfect colander/curtains/crafts storage boxes in those winding aisles.

Our point: Even the haters need to come to grips with the fact that there are many gems hidden among the shelves and catalog pages. What are they? We polled homeowners for their favorite Ikea purchases to spare you some of the guesswork and potential buyer’s remorse. So let’s get shopping!

1. Svarta bunk bed

For well under $200 ($169, Ikea.com), this brushed-steel design is sleek and modern—and it’ll appeal to girls and boys alike.

William Grant, a dad of two in New York City, put it together with almost no sweat (a power drill helped). “It looked complicated, but it was actually pretty easy,” he says. Once he got started, it was built and installed in the corner of his daughters’ shared bedroom in less than two hours.

2. Hemnes dresser

Nicole Crane, a mom of three in Los Angeles, is an Ikea devotee. From curtains to bookcases, she’s outfitted her chic home with lots of Swedish selections. The latest—and perhaps greatest—is the Hemnes dresser ($249, Ikea.com).

“It’s so huge it can hold clothes for two of my kids,” she says. Classic lines, three smart shades, and easy-to-pull drawers stand in its favor. And when you’re tired of the knobs, swap them in a flash.

“I just changed out the handles to make it look less Ikea-ish,”says Crane.

3. Hensvik wardrobe

For John Vercelletto, a dad of three from Babylon, NY, this wardrobe solved two problems. “When my daughter was on the way, my wife and I had to quickly scrap a planned master bathroom with no closet and create a bedroom,” he explains.

The 9 Best Ikea Purchases You’ll Ever Make Are you a home owner?

This piece was narrow enough to fit and could double as a dresser and a closet, with drawers for baby clothes and a hanging rod for tiny dresses ($99, Ikea.com).

“The plan was to have this until she was about 5, but it was useful until just a few months ago when, after 14-plus years, I finally installed a proper closet.” Now it’s in the master bedroom and still looks pretty good, he reports.

4. Produkt milk frother

Less than $3 for this nifty gizmo ($2.79, Ikea.com)? Yes, please! Peter Valleau of San Diego swears by this gadget—but he doesn’t use it for his morning cuppa. Instead, it’s the perfect aerator for wine, he says. “Just pour yourself a glass, and spin it for a second or two.”

If you do a blind tasting, with two glasses side by side, you’ll invariably think the one that was aerated with the frother is better, he claims.

5. Hemnes shoe cabinet

Claim your home to stay up-to-date of your home‘s value and equity.

Behold: a slender shoe caddy ($99, Ikea.com) with slots for tall boots and ballet flats that can be stationed behind a bedroom door or in a small foyer.

Carolyn Hamilton of Hockessin, DE, says it’s the perfect organizer near her front door. “It’s slim, compact, and holds all sizes of shoes,” she says. “I’ve never come across a piece like it anywhere.”

6. Fixa tool kit

You can’t afford not to pick up this set for just under eight bucks ($7.99, Ikea.com).

Jeffery Miller of Baltimore has actually purchased one for every floor in his home.

“There’s nothing worse than needing a screwdriver and then not being able to find one,” he points out. “This kit has rescued me more times than I can count.”

7. Skarsta standing desk

As a work-from-home Gear Dads blogger, Slavik Boyechko of Corvallis, OR, calls the Skarsta standing desk ($269, Ikea.com) a lifesaver.

“It’s simple, attractive, ergonomic, and costs much less than a typical sit-stand desk,” he says.

The handle, which can be mounted on either side depending on your preference, turns easily to raise or lower the workspace. If you spend a lot of time at home on a computer, this is a must-have.

8. Hemnes bookcase

Upsizing your house can mean another couple of bedrooms, a finished basement, or a playroom for the kids. In Erin Shreiner‘s case, she gained a dream-come-true library.

“Designating a space for a library was nonnegotiable,” explains the Perrysburg, OH, homeowner. To make the room a reality, she went straight to Ikea. The company has many other shelving options, among them the Hemnes line ($149, Ikea.com).

“When most people think of Ikea bookshelves, their minds travel to the Billy line,” she notes. “This is fine for a starter home, but it’s not really refined. We combined two types of units to produce a longer and more stately look—and I couldn’t be happier with the result.”

9. Hovet mirror

Cheryl Eisen, a luxury designer and CEO of Interior Marketing Group in New York City, frequently recommends this aluminum mirror ($129, Ikea.com) to both clients and friends.

“This piece quickly doubles the size of the room and is well-priced and sturdy, so it makes a great investment. A row of Hovet mirrors hung vertically brings in great light, too.”